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  • Birding in Istanbul, Turkey

    2024-03-21| Viktoriya Zvyaginceva

    During the long Nowruz holidays, my family and I visited Istanbul. The main purpose of the trip was to explore the city and its attractions. But what trip would be complete without birds! We had previously studied data about the region on https://ebird.org/, learned from Gennadiy Dyakin's experience traveling through Istanbul in 2017, and also searched various travel blogs on Google. As a result, we chose Gülhane Park and Yıldız Park for birdwatching, and also planned a one-hour tour of the Bosphorus.

    The historical center of Istanbul, also known as the old city, where we stayed, is located on hilly terrain. The hotel owner, upon hearing we were from a country with a population of 18 million, mentioned that only in Istanbul does the population exceed that by 1.5 times. The steep narrow streets, many of which can only accommodate motorcyclists, are paved with cobblestones, and after a day of walking on them, your feet just fall off. The houses are attached to each other, courtyards are practically absent, and there are many semi-ruined brick walls. Children playfully kick tightly wound balls right on the roads with a slope of more than 45 degrees. There are few trees and lawns, but there are many Eurasian Collared Doves (we counted about 30 on one tree), House Sparrows, and Hooded Crows. Previously, in Almaty, Eurasian Collared Doves and sparrows were also common, but now, alas, they are mostly found in private sectors. There are much fewer Rock Pigeons here than in our city. We encountered several Eurasian Collared Doves, Eurasian Tree Sparrows, and Eurasian Siskins.

    Rose-ringed Parakeets are ubiquitous here, even outside the parks. They are noisy and therefore easily noticeable. But the most numerous, fearless, and loud bird of Istanbul is the Yellow-legged Gull.

    In Gülhane Park, we saw both species of parakeets – Alexandrine and Rose-ringed, House Sparrows mixed with Common Starlings, a small number of Eurasian Blackcaps (we didn't see more of them anywhere else), Eurasian Collared Doves. Grey Herons, Little Cormorants, Eurasian Magpies, and Hooded Crows flew to and from tall trees with nests.

    In Yıldız Park, we saw Eurasian Siskins, Black Redstarts, Blue Tits, Rose-ringed Parakeets, Hooded Crows, a few Mallards and their hybrids with domestic ducks, and 5 Red-eared Slider Turtles. Additionally, the Merlin app identified Common Firecrest, Eurasian Nuthatch, and Song Thrush.

    During the Bosphorus tour and walks along the embankments, we saw Yellow-legged, Black-headed, and Common Gulls, a couple of Yelkouan Shearwaters flocks, – about 5-6 each, Great Cormorants and European Shags.

    There are many large stray dogs in Istanbul, for which bowls and cardboard boxes with round entrances resembling burrows are set up, reinforced with tape. And even more cats – on one of the days, my daughter counted 85 of them! Both dogs and cats are fed with dry food by both locals and tourists, so they are quite tame.

    All the expected birds before the trip were seen. The most interesting turned out to be the parakeets.

    1. Alexandrine parakeet

    2. Alexandrine parakeet

    3. Kramer's Parrot

    4. Kramer's Parrot

    5. Kramer's Parrot

    6. Mediterranean Gull compared to the Common Raven

    7. Mediterranean Gull

    8. Great Cormorant

    9. Little Cormorants

    10. Great Cormorants

    11. Gray Herons

    12. Common Gull

    13. Black-headed and Common Gulls

    14. Levantine Shearwaters (lifebuoy is always a good thing)

    15. Jackdaw

    16. Myna

    17. White Wagtail

    18. Eurasian Collared Dove

    19. Common Redstart

    20. Redstart

    21. Common Chaffinch

    22. Eurasian Bullfinch

    23. Red-eared Slider Turtle

    24. Istanbul Cats

    25. Blooming Magnolias

    26. View of the city across the strait

    27. Maiden's Tower

    28. Typical sidewalk

    29. Characteristic city ruins

    30. Blue Mosque

    31. Main transportation - trams and metro

    32. Ortakoy Mosque

    33. Bridge across the Bosphorus

    34. Cityscape

    2024-03-29. Рауф Байрашев:

    Описание Стамбула — прямо с "Бриллиантовой руки" срисовано, "чйёрт побери" )))

    2024-03-29. Виктория Звягинцева:

    Вы не поверите - муж поскользнулся на мостовой после дождя и упал. Правильную фразу вовремя не вспомнил.

    2024-03-29. Рауф Байрашев:

    Вот досада...

    2024-03-29. Виктория Звягинцева:

    Ну, остались без бриллиантов.

    2024-03-29. Анара Исабекова:

    Галка прекрасна, как и все остальные фото.

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